Dec 25 2015

Why Land Rights Matter

Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where land is a fundamental asset and a primary source of income, security, opportunity, and status. Yet more than half of these families lack either access to land or a secure stake in the land they till.

Legal rights to land improve the resiliency of families so they can climb out of extreme poverty. Tangible land rights also lay the foundation for other development investments to take root — like education programs, financial services, and health care. Landesa partners with governments to create tailored solutions to accelerate land rights for their citizens, and advocates for other development organizations and policymakers to include land rights as a cornerstone component to alleviate extreme poverty.

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  1. Population Reference Bureau, World Population Data Sheet (2005).
  2. UN Secretary General, Stand Up Event on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (2007), available at:
  3. R. Prosterman, R. Mitchell and T. Hanstad, One Billion Rising: Law, Land and the Alleviation of Global Poverty (2009).
  4. C. Chen, Land Reform in Taiwan (1961), p. 84, chart 12.
  5. K. Deininger, Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction (2003), p. 46.
  6. E. Field, “Property Rights and Household Time Allocation in Urban Squatter Communities: Evidence from Peru” (2003).
  7. C. Chen, Land Reform in Taiwan (1961), p. 84, chart 12. See also F. Gershon and A. Nishio, The Benefits of Land Registration and Titling: Economic and Social Perspectives (1999) (finding a 200% increase in income).
  8. S. Galiani and E. Schargrodsky, “Property Rights for the Poor: Effects of Land Titiling,” 94 Journal of Public Economics 700 (2010).
  9. S. Galiani and E. Schargrodsky, “Effects of Land Titling on Child Health,” 2 Economic and Human Biology 353 (2004), p. 367.


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